Because I Said I Would

What an exciting and very busy week this has been. On Monday I took time out for self-care by leading a WellBEing Workshop with the counselors in Pearland ISD just down the road; what a booster shot of restoration and joy that was! 

They were really good sports because I asked them not only to draw a picture on paper plates atop their heads ...  

but also to guess which card they were holding on their foreheads.  

Click the pictures for those ideas we used to help them BE childlike!

We celebrated John's birthday on Tuesday and Joshua will turn 18 tomorrow. How can our baby boy, the third in our trilogy, be voting age? It truly seems like he was just in elementary school with me at Westwood, where he was learning to read and write and make friends and be a kind kid.

And loosely speaking of ABCs, my post on assessing social-emotional learning and growth at Free Spirit Press went live {here} yesterday.

Looking forward, I am headed back into leadership classes and Social Stations this next week. Since class will have a trustworthiness theme, we'll start with writing promise cards to attach to this amazing because I said I would promise banner. I can't wait to find out what our superheroes want to promise. 

Our other Social Stations will include a Trust Fall, a friendship song in the ukulele lab, a friendship clip with reflections, Scramble Square puzzles, Puppet role plays, and Friendship Cootie Catchers. It promises to be great fun.

I'll leave you with the trust clip we showed in our 
Trustworthiness Assembly this morning.

Happy weekend!


Kelso's Choice Kit Winner

Today I'm excited because 86 readers entered to win our
Kelso's Conflict Resolution Kit and the number generator selected comment #11. Join me in congratulating Katie!

Here's what she shared about conflict resolution:

 Katie, please get in touch with me via email so I can pass your postal information on to our friends at the Cerebellum Corp.

In the event that I don't hear from Katie by Monday, February 20th, at noon {CST}, our number generator selected an alternate, Jennifer.

Here's what Jennifer does to help problem solve.

Jennifer, we will be in touch if we don't hear from Katie in the next few days.

I was just delighted that so many of you expressed interest in Kelso's Choices to help your superheroes soar and I appreciated reading all of your reflections about strategies you're already using to give your students these conflict-resolution skills.

Need a few ideas on how to use this fantastic empowerment tool? I've blogged about how Kelso helps us at school {here} and {here} and how Kelso can help families at home {here} and {here}. 

Check out this incredible investment for your character building;
I think you'll be hoppy that you did!


Kelso's Choice Giveaway

Happy Random Acts of Kindness Week and Valentine's Day.
How are you celebrating?
I'm still on a natural high from Counseling Week;
here's a sample of the heartfelt notes I got from my superheroes.

I love that he feels like the special one,
I'm happy that he finds my puppets joyful,
and I'm touched that he aspires to be like me when he grows up!

I also got this cool Kindness Box!

The adorable little hand-drawn pick-me-ups tucked neatly inside the box, just waiting to warm up whoever picks one, are evidence that it only takes one, one little person, one little act of kindness, one little ripple ... 

... to make a world of difference.

And if all of that kindness weren't enough, our friends from Kelso's Choice have offered to partner with me to give away this AmAzInG conflict-resolution kit to one of my dedicated readers.
Isn't that so incredibly generous and kind?

We love Kelso's Choice because it not only teaches our students to discern between small problems and big problems, but it also empowers them with skills to solve their small, pesky annoyances while giving them permission to seek help with larger, more threatening issues.

If you're in the US or Canada and would like a chance to win this kit, comment between now and this Saturday, February 18th, at noon {CST} with an effective problem-solving strategy that you use at home, at school or in the workplace. 

A random number generator will choose one lucky winner; we'll post that name this weekend with directions on how to claim your prize. 

Good luck and thanks again for coming by the Corner.

This giveaway is now closed; congrats to Katie (comment #11) for winning the kit.


Six Simple Words

It's that time of year again, when the American School Counselor Association
 sets aside a week of advocacy for our calling.

I started celebrating yesterday by putting a mini Moon Pie in each school family member's box, to let them know I'm over the moon for them. 
My husband helped me put the stickers on them.

Today I covered morning car-rider duty for a teacher at our sister school 
where I saw this gratitude on the marquee.

It actually tugged at my heart strings really hard, 
because opening the car doors and greeting those littles
had me longing a little lot for what used to be. 
Then, I got a text from someone over there that read:
You will always be my counselor.

And I cried. 
Big crocodile tears.
Tears for the connection behind those six simple words.
Tears of holding on and letting go.
Tears of gratitude for what was
and for the gift of bouncing forward into loving what is.
Ah, the power of words to lift us up and grow us.

Click image for source.
Back at Bales, I'm hosting a How many LEGOS? are in the vase challenge, as an excuse to treat my staff to a chance to win some fun stuff. 

We appreciate Teacher Peach for their donation.

And tomorrow I'm hosting a Coffee Chat with Heather, 
my counseling colleague and friend next door.

We're serving water and coffee, banana bread, 
blueberry muffins & coffee cake. Yum, yum.

After we go through our slides and do a few activities, we're going to read Flight School by Lita Judge to our participants. Here are the other mindset-themed titles we're going to recommend.

We'll sing this song, to seal the deal.

Not sure yet what's in store for Thursday and Friday,
though my husband did mention something about
a special lunch date with him at the end of the week.

He just walked in the door with a beautiful bouquet of flowers,
so I'll sign off for the night, but not before I close with these six simple words: 
Blessed to be a School Counselor.

Good night.


Just Fifty Cents

Today I'm excited because my brother Mark and his friend Shawn are in town for the Super Bowl tomorrow, so they're staying with us. It was great fun to sit around the breakfast table this morning, listen to the story of how they ended up getting into the ESPN party alongside Green Bay Packer Eddie Lacy . . .

and enjoy pancakes and bacon with them
 while laughing and reconnecting.

I'm also super satisfied and bursting with joy
 that our SOS (Sweets for Our Soldiers) care packages
filled with home-baked goodness and homemade Valentines 

are on their way to the hearts, hands, and tummies 
of the sixteen deployed service men and women we adopted.

This long-standing tradition started years ago as an Operation SOS campaign to send much-needed supplies to our soldiers with notes of thanks as a way to show our patriotism and citizenship while expressing our gratitude for their heroism, service and sacrifice.

A few years back, we switched gears and decided to encourage our families to work together for a cause so we could send kindness from our kitchens, something our military heroes have coined hugs from home

This week, a picture of exactly what we were going for.

Every year, the Friendswood Rotary sets aside funds to help us pay the postage on these flat-rate boxes, which cost $17.35 each to ship. At this year's Rotary luncheon, a month before our project would even begin, one Rotarian felt called to give us a $20 from her purse, so their donation would be $520 in all. It really helps to not have to worry about how we'll possibly pay for this project on a school budget and we are so very grateful to the Rotary for their generous partnership.

I started out just taping up seventeen large boxes because we never know how many families will be able to carve out time to make something tasty for our troops. As we filled one table, then two and three with these delectable delights, I knew that this would be yet another successful service project.

Student Council reps met Thursday afternoon to fill each box to the brim with the yummy donations that had rolled in as I taped up thirteen more boxes. By 4:30 that afternoon, our thirty boxes were packed full and taped shut, ready to go.

Because the Rotary provided the funds for shipping, it wasn't until I got home that afternoon that I wondered how close we'd come to using their donation. I couldn't believe what I saw when I punched the numbers into my calculator. 

Wait, what? Just 50 cents?

Was it a coincidence that my brother needed my car on Friday so I caught a ride to school with my friend Caryn? Was it a coincidence that she just happens to have a brother on deployment getting two of our boxes? And was it a coincidence that Caryn's children were the first to hear the story about how beautifully our box count aligned with the Rotary's donation?

After helping me carry the boxes to the front and stack them into a patriotic pyramid display, these superheroes each brought me a quarter, the fifty cents that we would need to complete this year's SOS kindness campaign. 

It doesn't get any sweeter than that.